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The Muslim Bookstagram Awards 2022 season kicked off in September, and the judges have been hard at work going through the many submissions that flooded our inboxes! From adorable board books and vibrant picture books, to heartwarming middle grade reads and powerful young adult fiction, it’s been another wonderful year from Muslim authors.

It was hard to choose, but the judges have managed to put together the finalists list!

Note that most of the books can be ordered from our sponsor, Crescent Moon Bookstore, and a link has been provided for each title. Read through the whole post to find our special Coupon Code at the end, and get a discount off your order!

Board Books

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“Mama Once Told Me” and “Abah Once Told Me” by Sharifah Huseinah Madihid are two adorable, laugh-out-loud board books featuring Iman, a mischievous Singaporean boy who is just trying to follow the Sunnah! These two hilarious, heart-warming stories are a wonderful way to introduce little Muslims to the Sunnah of Jumu’ah (Abah Once Told Me) and the Sunnah of hosting guests (Mama Once Told Me). Order them here!

Sarah Khan’s “My First Book About Salah” is part of her “My First…” board book collection. Illustrated in the same colorful, sweet style as “My First Ramadan,” “My First Salah” is just as cute. It contains a wealth of detail about this pillar of Islam. Order it here!

Picture Books

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“Abdul’s Story” by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow is a powerful story about a little boy who loves storytelling but struggles with writing… and learns -from a wonderful Muslim role model- that it’s okay to make mistakes. Outstanding in its positive, Black Muslim representation, there is a strong sense of Islamic values woven throughout. Order here!

“The Moon from Dehradun” by Shirin Shamsi is a deeply touching, age-appropriate picture book about the Partition of India and Pakistan. Following the story of young Azra and her family, readers are taken along on the urgent, tragic escape from their home of Dehradun to Lahore. Order here!

“Tittle Tattle Talia” by Salwah Isaacs-Johaadien is a hilarious and cute story about the dangers of gossiping and backbiting! When Talia’s bad habit of telling on other people starts hurting her relationships with her family and friends, she realizes that something’s gotta change. Order here!

“My Garden Over Gaza” by by Sarah Musa is a heartbreaking story about Israeli apartheid and its impacts on even the youngest of Palestinians. Noura and her little brother Esam live in Gaza – the world’s only open-air prison. Their father’s rooftop garden is precious to them, but even his tomato plants fall victim to Israeli violence. Will Noura be able to hold onto hope and resistance? Order here!

“Amir’s Blue Jacket” by Sarah Musa is a beautiful story about the loss of a loved one and what it means to continue a legacy of khayr. When Amir’s grandfather passes away, Amir clings tightly to his blue jacket. But the lessons his grandfather left behind mean more to him than the jacket… and Amir realizes what it means to truly love and remember his beloved grandfather. Order here!

“One Sun and Countless Stars: A Muslim Book of Numbers” by Hena Khan is a lush, gorgeous book filled with Muslim joy and pride! More than just pulling from “Muslim culture,” each page features a powerful element of Islam: Fajr adhaan, memorizing Qur’an, and going to the masjid, and so much more. Order here!

Early Reader Chapter Books

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“The Trouble with Videos (the Story of Riya)” by Hafsa Ahsan features the mischievous, well-meaning twins Zayd & Musa… and their internet adventures. This book openly tackles the topic of social media, showing off, and understanding Islamic ethics – all in a fairly kid-friendly way. Order here!

“Nadia and Nadir: Beach Trash Art” and “Nadia and Nadir: Hurricane Helpers” by Marzieh Ali are part of the “Nadia and Nadir” series, featuring two Muslim siblings and their everyday adventures. Beach-Trash Art is all about learning to take care of the environment. Hurricane Helpers is very meaningful; Nadia, Nadir, and their family first make du’a for safety and then go to the masjid to help their neighbors (Muslim and non-Muslim) to provide shelter and supplies. In both books, Urdu words are used within the books, easy to pick up within context, and a glossary is provided at the very end. Order here!

“Zara’s Rules for Ground Breaking Fun” and “Zara’s Rules for Finding Hidden Treasure” by Hena Khan follow the well-meaning, always entertaining shenanigans of Zara Saleem… picking up life lessons along the way. In “Rules for Ground-Breaking Fun,” Zara must figure out how to navigate changing friendship dynamics without losing sight of what’s right. In “Rules for Finding Hidden Treasure,” Zara learns the value of reusing, recycling, and appreciating the value of things that aren’t new. Order here and here!

Middle Grade

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“Omar Rising” by Aisha Saeed follows a young boy whose scholarship to a prestigious academy turns out not to be what he expected. Faced with classism and injustice, Omar must gather his friends and fight back against a system rigged against them. Although the story is set in Pakistan, the story itself is universal and has so much richness to offer. Order here!

“Hani and Huda” by Ahmad Philips is a middle grade graphic novel following the adventures of Hani and Huda: a brother sister duo! These two Muslim kids learn Islamic lessons while taking tests at school, making friendships, and even failing at fashion! Made up of eight stories, the kids learn values like controlling anger, being patient, apologizing when making mistakes, and treating the poor with kindness. Order here!

“Bhai for Now” by Maleeha Siddiqui is about twin brothers separated at birth who bump into each other for the first time at school – and complicated shenanigans ensue! Ashar and Shaheer must navigate their new relationship, while trying to forge a new future with their whole family. Their family relationships – full of love and complexity – are written so beautifully. Order here!

“Nura and the Immortal Palace” by M.T. Khan is a unique Muslim fantasy novel. When Nura’s friend disappears saving her from a collapsing tunnel in a mica mine, Nura is frantic. In her search for him, she stumbles on a secret Jinn world. There, she must compete against the Jinn using only her wits, and if she isn’t out of the Jinn world by Eid Al-Adha’s third day, she will be stuck as a servant in that world forever! Order here!

“The Dastardly Duo” by Burhana Islam is a laugh-out-loud adventure of little Yusuf Ali Khan’s ridiculous antics! Yusuf’s Affa has gotten married, but at a Hajj party with his friends, Yusuf initiates a food fight…and the last cupcake flies straight at the Imam of the mosque! Yusuf needs to restore his family honor, and he is on a mission to do so by winning class president.  Order here!

“Muhammad Najem, War Reporter” by Muhammad Najem and Nora Neus is a sobering graphic novel set in Syria. Muhammad was a young boy when Bashar al-Assad’s forces attacked his home city of Ghouta, bombing and starving everyone within. Muhammad’s father always told him everyone has a story- and so he sets out to show it. He used his phone and social media to record what was happening and started posting online… but the consequences were dire. Order here!

Muslim Holiday

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Nadia and Nadir make another appearance in “Ramadan Cookies” and “Eid Surprises“! Ramadan is heralded by the sighting of the moon… but also with special cookies! But what will happen when they can’t find the cookie cutter they need? Eid Surprises is full of Muslim joy, and features an Ibtihaj Muhammad doll, and learning about Muhammad Ali. Order here! 

“Zahra’s Blessing” by Shirin Shamsi is an utterly unique, gorgeously illustrated Ramadan story that’s bound to become a favorite. As Ramadan arrives, young Zahra has a special du’a in her heart. Zahra’s mother gently teaches her about Ramadan blessings and the importance of selfless generosity, and by the end, she discovers that the answer to her du’a is more amazing than she could have ever imagined! Order here!

“My First Book About Hajj” by Sarah Khan is part of her “My First…” series and does a wonderful job of vividly illustrating and describing the journey to Hajj and its process. This book will be turned to again and again as little ones grow! Order here.

Young Adult/ Adult

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[Note: We recommend these titles for 16 and above due to heavy and serious themes such as grief, violence, war, and more. These stories feature real-life, complex situations, including flawed Muslim characters. Read more about navigating such stories here.]

“All My Rage” by Sabaa Tahir is about two Muslim teenagers, both contending with some truly rough challenges, and bound together in a manner far deeper than the usual angsty YA romance ways. Order here!

“A Second Look” by Hannah Matus is a brilliant, creative Libyan Muslim retelling of Pride and Prejudice! Elizza BenTaleb, her four sisters, her parents (nicknamed Umm al-Banaat and Abu’l Banaat!), Firas Tarseen, Muhammad BenAli, cousin Kamaal, Hajjah Khadijah… this cast of Muslimified Pride & Prejudice characters will make every reader laugh out loud in appreciation.  Order here!

“Love from Makkah to Madinah” by S. K. Ali, the sequel to “Love from A to Z,” reunites us with Adam and Zayneb. Our lovestruck couple are together but apart: nikah’ed but separated by continents as they figure out school and work. A surprise Umrah trip becomes a more difficult challenge than either of them expected. Order here.

“House of Yesterday” by Deeba Zargarpur is a truly haunting (pun intended), bittersweet novel of grief, loss, and family secrets. Featuring an Afghan-Uzbek main character, this unique story is a ghost story unlike any other. Order here.

“They Called Me A Lioness: A Palestinian Girl’s Fight for Freedom” by Ahed Tamimi and Dena Takruri is the powerful memoir of Ahed Tamimi, world renowned Palestinian activist and former child prisoner. Dive into her story of resilience, resistance, and revolution! Order here.

“As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow” by Zoulfa Katouh is a raw novel of the Syrian revolution – and of hope. Salama is 19 years old & a first year pharmacy student… until the Syrian revolution began & she lost her family. Now, in the wreckage of her pregnant sister-in-law’s home, she spends her days at the hospital, treating the wounded under the watchful gaze of Khawf – the apparition of her PTSD. But even in the midst of war-ridden horrors, there is beauty and love… and a way out for Salamah. Order here!

Non-Fiction

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“Journey of the Midnight Sun” by Shazia Afzal is the true story of the northernmost masjid in Canada: the Midnight Sun Mosque of Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories, 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. Constructed in Winnipeg and then transported North, this story illustrates the journey of the Midnight Sun Mosque to serve the Muslims of the Northwest Territories. Order here!

“One Wish: Fatima al-Fihri and the World’s Oldest University” by M. O. Yuksel is an incredible picture book about a Muslim woman who created a lasting legacy. With beautifully lyrical text and unabashed, powerful references to Islam throughout, this book is a must-have. Order here.

“Connecting with Allah: A Treasury of Poems” by Mona Zac is aimed at children and contains poems about the Names of Allah, alongside adorable illustrations. There is a “reflect and act” section at the end of each poem to encourage young readers to connect more personally to each Name of Allah

subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)
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. A valuable resource for Ramadan especially! Order here.

“Remarkable Muslim Women Throughout the Ages” by Maryam Yousaf is a new resource for Muslim kids and even adults about truly remarkable Muslim women throughout history. Each entry features a biography of the woman of note, reflection questions, and discussion questions – which makes for a great youth group/ discussion group tool. Order here.

“Call Me By My Name” by Ayesha Rahman is a lovely resource familiarizing children with the Names of Allah

subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)
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. Covering 25 out of the 99 Names, each page features a Name of Allah
subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)
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, a brief explanation of what it means in both Arabic and English, and the sweetest of illustrations. Order here!

“The Adventurous Friends” (part 2 of the Wonderful Women Around the Prophet series) by Shaykha Rumaysa Sidat and Sophia Lunat covers the theme of Sahabiyyaat who experienced great adventures: Umm Habibah

raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her)
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, Umm Salamah
raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her)
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, and Asmaa bint Abi Bakr
raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her)
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. Exploring migration, the stories of these amazing women are told in an age-appropriate way for children, alongside gentle ways to relate the stories to their own lives, and fun facts. Order here!

Don’t forget to stay tuned for our announcement of the winners next week, inshaAllah!

[SPECIAL COUPON CODE: Use the coupon code “MBR” for 15% off all products ordered from Crescent Moon Bookstore!]

 

Related:

 – Podcast: A Glimpse Into Muslim Bookstagram

Podcast: A Glimpse Into Muslim Bookstagram

Navigating Muslim Representation In Books: The Good, The Flawed, And The Ugly

Navigating Muslim Representation In Books: The Good, The Flawed, And The Ugly

The post The Muslim Bookstagram Awards 2022: Meet The Finalists! appeared first on MuslimMatters.org.

Source: Muslim Matters